Rulers in Tehran face anger as USA pressure mounts

04 July, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Iranian Vice President Jahangiri speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric in Najaf

Iranian officials in the past have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile USA action against Iran.

Referring to reports that Saudi Arabia may increase its oil exports to replace Iranian oil in world markets, Jahangiri said: "Anyone trying to take away Iran's oil market (share) would be committing great treachery against Iran and will one day pay for it". "They don't understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region's oil is exported", Rouhani said late on Monday during a visit to Switzerland, the website president.ir reported.

Zolnour, who serves as a member of the Islamic Republic's national security and foreign affairs committee, also told Iran's Etemad newspaper in an interview - as cited in Iran's Fars News agency - that family members of Iranian government officials were included in the 2,500 US citizenships handed over by former President Barack Obama and his former Secretary of State John Kerry.

These include an attempt to shut down the worldwide sale of Iranian oil, Tehran's main source of revenue, a threat that has cast a chill over the economy.

"In the current context of the withdrawal of the United States. and the intense negotiations between Iran and Europe to find a way to preserve this agreement", the trip "is of prime importance", Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said Saturday. Iran has asked European countries to offer new economic measures to offset the impact of a return of USA sanctions.

Rouhani said the new US pressure would never succeed.

"Oil is already being offered on the bourse, about 60,000 barrels per day, but that has been only for exports of oil products", Jahangiri said.

The meeting will seek "solutions to preserve the Iran nuclear deal after the illegal United States action to withdraw", it said.

"Iran will remain committed to the deal, as long as its interests are preserved", Mr Rouhani said.




The five countries have all said they still support the deal despite the decision to withdraw.

"Many ordinary Iranians are surprised and feel betrayed that children of the regime officials live and work in the U.S.", Ghasseminejad told Fox News.

The top diplomats of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation will join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Austrian capital, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported, for their first talks together on the deal since Washington pulled out earlier this year.

"For now, that's the plan", an European Union source said.

In his 8am tweet, the U.S. president said: "Just out that the Obama administration granted citizenship, during the awful Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians, including to [sic] government officials".

The EU's foreign service, the EEAS, was not immediately available for comment on the meeting.

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the Obama administration granted 2,500 Iranians, including government officials, citizenship during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations, without any evidence it was true.

But so far it has proven hard to offset the impact of continued USA sanctions, with European firms reluctant to risk far-reaching US financial penalties to do business in Iran.

Mr Trump announced on Twitter he spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman asking to raise its oil production to take Iran's place on the worldwide market. "We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis", Hook said.

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